Stow resident guides fighter to seventh straight win

Published:

Staff report

A mere 30 seconds into his fight against Erick Silva, Ultimate Fighting Championship icon Matt "The Immortal" Brown looked like he was headed toward an unavoidable, disappointing defeat.

Fifteen minutes later, Silva lay in the Cincinnati ring, not moving, his face swollen. Brown's seven-match winning streak was alive.

He now holds the longest win streak in the UFC's welterweight division. Brown's striking coach for the match was Ryan "The Lion" Madigan, head instructor of Stow's World Kickboxing Academy. Madigan is now 3-0 as a corner in UFC.

In the 12-minute fight, Brown landed 161 knees, elbows and punches.

He did this after escaping Silva's seemingly inescapable grappling attack.

"We worked a ton of clinching and a bunch of elbows," Madigan said. "We wanted him in the guy's face the whole time and that's where he was."

Brown hails from Xenia and fights out of Columbus. The two met in 2007 during auditions for the reality series, "The Ultimate Fighter."

The May 10 Silva fight marked the third time in Brown's corner for the 36-year-old Madigan.

A third-degree black belt, Madigan is World Kickboxing Academy's head instructor for muay Thai, a contact-oriented style of kickboxing.

Madigan also coaches a growing stable of professional and amateur fighters. WKA student Andrew Law (4-1) just won a professional mixed martial arts fight against Anthony Morgan at the Ohio Fighting Championship XXI: Intimidation, May 31 in Columbus.

Other recent victories include 19-year-old Briana Coubrough of Beachwood.

The muay Thai student dominated Annie Payne in an amateur boxing match May 30.

June marks the first birthday of World Kickboxing Academy, which teaches various martial arts styles, hosts Rampant CrossFit fitness classes and welcomes students of all ages.

World Kickboxing Academy recently celebrated its first-year anniversary June 27.

The school's schedule includes Fight Team training classes. Madigan plans to send a delegation of students to March's World Kickboxing Association national competition.

"There's a lot more contact at Fight Team than in typical classes," Madigan said. "But not as much as a professional fighter gets.

"You're still going to learn exactly what a pro is learning, but you're not going to take as much punishment."

The school's most popular course of study is family muay Thai classes, in which parents and children split into different groups. Both get challenging, age-appropriate workouts that are good for exercise and self-defense.

Muay Thai is a popular, less formal alternative to most traditional martial arts, but with the same benefits.

With T-shirts in place of uniforms, students push fitness and performance to new thresholds, donning safety gear and putting their training to the test.

"Most schools don't offer family muay Thai classes," Madigan said. "The kids have a great time. They're learning respect and confidence -- all the things that come with a traditional martial arts class.

"More kids and families are coming in and at the same time, the fight team is growing. We've had a really fantastic first year.

"There's an actual family environment and it's serious, but it's enjoyable."

An Orville native, Madigan has studied martial arts since he was 14. He has a 5-3 professional MMA record and is 18-2 as an amateur kickboxer. His fights have appeared on ESPN.

At Orrville High School, he formerly held a record for discus. He has been active with Boxers Against Drugs.

Madigan studied Muay Thai under Grand Master Bob Chaney, who studied kickboxing full-time while living in Thailand. A former World Karate Champion, Chaney is also an 8th degree black belt in Karate and Tae Kwon Do. For more information about World Kickboxing Academy, visit www.worldkickboxingacademy.com.

For more information about Madigan and individual competitors, including pictures and bios, contact Asian Sun at 330-650-6333 or email at info@asiansun.net.

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